Margarita’s mother began to teach her to weave at a very young age. As a little girl, Margarita would spin wool to give to her mother as a present, but by the age of 13 Margarita was creating and selling her own pieces. In order to supplement the family income, she washed and spun wool, and wove her own textiles, for her father to sell in the nearby city of Temuco.
As a teenager, Margarita’s sister left the country to find work in the city, as many young Mapuche women are forced to do. The family thought it best that Margarita go with her, and shortly after they left their family behind. After two weeks of tears and sorrow from missing her family, Margarita realized that she had an opportunity unavailable to most young women in her situation – through her weaving, she was able to earn as much money in the country as she did in the city. And with that, she returned to her family.
Her return was timely, as shortly thereafter her mother entered a deep depression as a result of battling pneumonia, then losing a sister, and then a niece. Between her mother’s depression, and her father’s small earnings as a farmer and artisan, the family income was not sufficient. Margarita immediately took control, and became a second mother to her 11 siblings. She spun and wove when she wasn’t caring for her siblings, she bought her family’s food and clothing, and she struggled greatly through her young age to provide for her loved ones.